Athens ; ancient Greece Essay

Athinais is one of the most popular metropoliss of ancient Greece. It was a really important metropolis for out of its four walls came out doctrines. civilization and political constructs that are still used and copied today. Like any other ancient civilisation. Athens went through phases of development until it reached its Aureate Age around the 5th century ( 500-400 B. C. ) . At this clip Athenian democratic philosophical construct reaches its tallness and humanistic disciplines and literature ( that are admired today ) flourished.

Athinais is the first topographic point in history where a democratic signifier of leading was exercised. A authorities was established in which free citizens ruled themselves. Democracy comes from a Grecian word significance “ regulation by the people” ( Perry 70 ) . Democracy attained its full look under the wise leading of Pericles. an Athenian solon who ruled Athinais from 460- 429 B. C. After Pericles rebuilt the metropolis of Athens from the onslaught of the Persians. he so encouraged his citizens to freely take part in its administration ( Hooker 1999 ) .

He unusually stated that “ we do non state that a adult male who takes no involvement in authorities is a adult male who minds his ain concern ; we say that he has no concern here at all” . To promote active engagement in authorities. Pericles opened authorities occupations for all categories of people. rich or hapless. and paid them rewards. He allowed the freedom of address and idea. Citizens could openly knock their prima generals and solons without fright of being punished. In the Assembly Area. Athenian citizens had the equal chance to voice out their sentiments.

No admiration Plato said. “ Athens was full of autonomy and free speech” ( Perry 73-74 ) . In the visible radiation of history. this province of personal businesss in Athens is really singular for in other civilisation at that clip. peculiarly in Europe and Egypt. the swayers or baronial households do non promote free address but punished those who have the backbones to dispute their authorization or “divine” right to govern. It ne’er entered their heads that they should portion their political power with the remainder of the multitudes. For them. the function of their topics was to supply them nutrient and labour ( Donadoni 1 ) .

In many instances they used their topics as pawns to contend their enemies and occupy other districts like in Ethiopia ( Lipsky 238 ) . Because of their little size. approximately around 35. 000 male citizens ( merely males were counted and recorded ) . the citizens ruled themselves straight ( Perry 69 ) . There was no demand for any representative. but alternatively 40 times a twelvemonth all the citizens meet in the Assembly to debate. ballot and made Torahs. All of them decided whether they should subscribe a pact. construct a edifice or do peace with other metropoliss ( Hooker 1999 ) . Aside from that. the Athenians do non hold professional authorities functionaries. Judgess or soldiers.

They were more than plenty to carry through the responsibilities of the authorities. What they did was they select a authorities functionary by batch like picking his name among others from a chapeau. The chosen functionary will so execute his assigned responsibilities for one twelvemonth and after that he will non be allowed to take the same place once more. but he can take on another authorities place. In this manner. most. if non all. male citizens of Athens were given the opportunity to take in their several communities. For an Athenian head. those who did non function their community were considered useless citizens.

And when necessary. the Athenians served in the ground forces or the navy. For the most portion. nevertheless. the most active politicians and military leaders came from the baronial households for they have the clip and instruction to make so ( Perry 74 ) . To be an efficient leader and a utile citizen. instruction was widely promoted in Athens. Athenian male childs and immature work forces were enrolled in private schools. or were schooled at place by coachs. They studied many countries of subject like reading. arithmetic. composing. public speech production. geometry. uranology and poesy. Singing. dance and playing the lyre was besides portion of their course of study.

They were besides encouraged to discourse their thoughts about life. political relations. and right and incorrect. At 18. immature Athenian work forces began two old ages of military preparation and service. and so they become citizens and took portion in political relations ( Perry 75 ) . This is really much manner different from Egypt at that clip. where the priest and other Lords hide what they knew about uranology or scientific discipline from the remainder of the multitudes but alternatively used their cognition to gull the citizens into believing they possessed certain powers because they were able to foretell the rhythm of the seasons.

Education in Egypt was merely for the rich and the Lords. the remainder of the citizens were kept in illiteracy in order to be abused and taken advantage of ( Perry 49 ) . Aside from instruction. the Greeks besides developed their physical strength. They were encouraged to prosecute in athleticss like running. wrestle and gymnastic exercises. Male strength was celebrated at the national games at Olympia. from which the Olympic games of today is derived ( Famighetti 1995 ) . Because of their extended instruction. the Athenians at this clip developed their artistic and literary accomplishments. They developed their poesy into play.

Their play was based on old narratives of Gods and heroes. Dramatists used these narratives to picture the manner of life of the Greeks and research human jobs. Most of the dramas that they wrote were called calamities and comedies. The subject of their play focused more on destiny and fate. The play were performed in out-of-doorss. in big theatres that can suit every bit many as 20. 000 people. Because the public presentations lasted from dawn to sunset opening twenty-four hours was a public vacation. Everybody was encouraged to go to and watch the public presentations. the hapless were given money to purchase seats. and the captives were released from gaol to watch the play.

The influence of Greek play today can be seen as when modern dramatists and theatre interior decorators modeled their thoughts from the oldest play of all—the Grecian Theater. As in modern theatre. audiences in ancient Greece Saturday in a half-circle around a round country where the histrions. terpsichoreans and instrumentalists performed. Besides. modern play today employed the usage of masks or costumes similar to ancient Greece where the histrions wore masks picturing different characters or emotions ( like good or evil. happy or bereaved. male or female ) and in their portraiture of God’s and goddesses they wore thick soled boots and padded costumes ( Perry 74-75 ) .

With respects to humanistic disciplines and architectures. the Greeks were really peculiar with excellence. They strived to stand for beauty and prowess in their edifice and sculpture. In fact. Grecian art and architecture were considered as theoretical accounts of art for today. Grecian painters and sculpturers showed human existences as ideally beautiful ( Mitchell 994 ) . Statues of Athletes had well-developed and well-proportioned organic structures. while faces of work forces and adult females were shown with perfect characteristics. They erected statues of their Gods and goddesses. and displayed them as prototypes of beauty.

The Greeks were able to do beautiful plants of architecture by using mathematical Torahs of proportion. Temples and theatre were constructed with balance and harmoniousness ( Perry 86 ) . An illustration of a edifice made with complete harmoniousness is the group of pillared temples on the Acropolis. a hill in the centre of Athens. The largest of them is the celebrated Parthenon. the temple of Athena. frequenter goddess of Athens. It took 15 old ages to construct Parthenon. Though it was simple. it was absolutely proportioned. and seemed to hold grown out of the bouldery hillside ( “Parthenon” 1997 ) .

Possibly. the greatest bequest that Athens had given to modern universe with respects to architectural art is that “ beauty of style…and grace and good beat depends on simplicity” . Simple. but beautiful. balanced and graceful are features of ancient Grecian art ( Perry 86 ) . At this clip besides. the great and influential minds in the history of adult male lived. Socrates and Plato. The publicity of instruction and acquisition every bit good as the encouragement of free address and though served as an ideal land for these two work forces to research scientific and philosophical thoughts.

Socrates emphasizes careful thought and oppugning while Plato inquiries thoughts about authorities. Harmonizing to Socrates. an person should trust on ground and non on emotions. to regulate his or her behaviour. He encouraged the Athenians to develop critical thought in their day-to-day lives for harmonizing to him “ an unexamined life is non deserving living” . However. Socrates insisting on critical thought and his unfavorable judgment of democracy appeared to hold threatened the city’s tradition. He was accused of perverting the young person so that he was sentenced to decease.

To transport out the decease sentence. Socrates calmly imbibe the toxicant and talk with his pupils until it took consequence ( Perry 88 ) . Plato was a pupil of Socrates. Unlike his instructor who stressed on the person. Plato was more concerned in society as a whole ( Famighetti 1995 ) . He said that Torahs must function the best involvement of everyone. non merely the strongest or the richest people. Plato nevertheless. opposed democracy for he felt that the mean Athenian citizen can non be trusted with good leading. He preferred a Republican province of authorities where the leaders are trained philosophers.

He farther declared that the “philosopher kings” would non be interested in money but spend their old ages acquiring instruction and experience ( Perry 88 ) . Although Athenian democracy and civilization was a singular progress. it had restrictions. For one. merely big male. about 10 per centum of the population. was considered full citizens. Grecian adult females did non hold the same rights as work forces. Education for adult females was merely for preparation in family jobs. They were non allowed to keep public office or compete in athleticss ( Crofton 246 ) .

The ground was because they agreed in what Aristotle had said that “ the male is by nature superior. and female inferior. and…the one regulations and the other ruled” . Second. they do non let slaves to go citizens of Greece. For them. like the remainder of the ancient universe. bondage was an recognized manner of life ( Perry 75 ) .

Plants Cited

Crofton. Ian. The Guinness Compact Encyclopedia. London: Guinness Publishing Limited. 1994. Donadoni. Sergio. The Egyptians. Chicago: The University of Chicago imperativeness. 1997. Famighetti. Robert. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1996. New Jersey. Funk and Wagnalls Corporation. 1995.

Hooker. Richard. ( 1999 ) . “Ancient Greece” . World Civilization. Accessed 31 October 2007 from & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. wsu. edu:8080/~dee/GREECE/ATHEMP. HTM & gt ; Lipsky. George. Yaltopya: Its Peoples. Its Society. Its Culture. New Haven. CT. : HRAF Press. 1962. Year: 1962. Mitchell. James ( ed. ) . The Random House Encyclopedia. New York: Random House. Inc. . 1977. “Parthenon. ” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007. Accessed October 31 2007. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //encarta. msn. com & gt ; © 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation. Perry. Marvin. A History of the World. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1988.

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